Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 24th Mar 2009 18:02 UTC, submitted by google_ninja
GNU, GPL, Open Source Eric S. Raymond is one of the three big figures in open source, together with Linus Torvalds and Richard Stallman. During a talk for the Long Island Linux User Group, he made some interesting statements about the GPL, namely that the GPL is no longer needed due to the way the open source movement works.
Thread beginning with comment 354837
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[3]: No
by AdamW on Tue 24th Mar 2009 20:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No"
AdamW
Member since:
2005-07-06

Actually, the OP isn't entirely wrong.

All versions of the GPL contain a paragraph which specifically states that, if no explicit statement is made as to which version of the GPL applies to the code, *any* version can be taken to apply - including future versions which haven't been written yet.

If you just write a piece of software and stick a copy of the GPL in the archive, no matter what particular version of the GPL that file you put in the archive was, anyone can pick any version of the GPL to apply to your code. This isn't exactly what the OP said - later versions don't supersede earlier ones in this case, so you're still free to apply GPLv2 to any code without a specific GPLv3 statement - but it's not what you said, either.

If you want a particular version or combination of versions of the GPL or LGPL, and *only* those versions, to apply to your code, this has to be explicitly stated.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: No
by sbergman27 on Wed 25th Mar 2009 16:38 in reply to "RE[3]: No"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

All versions of the GPL contain a paragraph which specifically states that, if no explicit statement is made as to which version of the GPL applies to the code, *any* version can be taken to apply - including future versions which haven't been written yet

I think that's any *later* version. The FSF's GPL is like the back-swept teeth in the maw of a shark. They want the default movement to be in one direction, with no option to go the other way.

Edited 2009-03-25 16:39 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: No
by azrael29a on Wed 25th Mar 2009 23:46 in reply to "RE[3]: No"
azrael29a Member since:
2008-02-26

Actually, the OP isn't entirely wrong.

All versions of the GPL contain a paragraph which specifically states that, if no explicit statement is made as to which version of the GPL applies to the code, *any* version can be taken to apply - including future versions which haven't been written yet.

If you just write a piece of software and stick a copy of the GPL in the archive, no matter what particular version of the GPL that file you put in the archive was, anyone can pick any version of the GPL to apply to your code.

No. You're wrong.
This would happen only when you would just put the small note in the code "this program is under GPL" without specifying the license text.
If you attach a text of a specific version of GPL then noone can take your code and release it under an earlier version of the GPL.
Read the GPL FAQ.
http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[5]: No
by azrael29a on Wed 25th Mar 2009 23:49 in reply to "RE[4]: No"
azrael29a Member since:
2008-02-26

Each version is given a distinguishing version number. If the Program specifies that a certain numbered version of the GNU General Public License “or any later version” applies to it, you have the option of following the terms and conditions either of that numbered version or of any later version published by the Free Software Foundation. If the Program does not specify a version number of the GNU General Public License, you may choose any version ever published by the Free Software Foundation.

Reply Parent Score: 1